Work of Art

When I think about what exactly it is that I want for women to take away with them when they leave me on the Sunday morning of camp after a week of sheer joy, belly laughs, discovery, and awakenings, three words come to mind:  Work of Art.  I want for them, with all that I’ve got, to begin thinking of themselves as a Work of Art.  Something to be prized, something truly special, something that gets even better with time.

As you can imagine, after four years of doing this, I have thousands of beautiful photographs from my own camera, and also from several very talented photographers and videographers.  I have photos of the river that meanders through camp and of the horses that surprise us by coming down to the river’s edge to get a drink of water and splash about.  I have hundreds of photographs of colorful, inspiring artwork and I even have pictures of the double rainbow that appeared in the sky on the first morning of camp last year, literally encapsulating us inside the magical bubble we already imagined was there and now had photographic evidence of.

These photos are all so dear to me because they remind me of the sights and sounds of each passing year.  But the thing that really stands out to me are the faces.  Each sparkle, each smile, each line, each and every face that I see reminds me of Lucky Star in its live form.  You see, I can invite you to one of the most beautiful places on earth, curate the most wonderful classes with the most talented instructors, order up the best food in the land, give you all the supplies you need, and watch you make the most beautiful art…but in my eyes the real Work of Art is you.  So, if there is nothing else that you take away with you when you leave, know this… YOU… wonderfully real chaser of dreams, sprinkler of stardust… are a Work of Art!

 

Work of Art

When I think about what exactly it is that I want for women to take away with them when they leave me on the Sunday morning of camp after a week of sheer joy, belly laughs, discovery, and awakenings, three words come to mind:  Work of Art.  I want for them, with all that I’ve got, to begin thinking of themselves as a Work of Art.  Something to be prized, something truly special, something that gets even better with time.

As you can imagine, after four years of doing this, I have thousands of beautiful photographs from my own camera, and also from several very talented photographers and videographers.  I have photos of the river that meanders through camp and of the horses that surprise us by coming down to the river’s edge to get a drink of water and splash about.  I have hundreds of photographs of colorful, inspiring artwork and I even have pictures of the double rainbow that appeared in the sky on the first morning of camp last year, literally encapsulating us inside the magical bubble we already imagined was there and now had photographic evidence of.

These photos are all so dear to me because they remind me of the sights and sounds of each passing year.  But the thing that really stands out to me are the faces.  Each sparkle, each smile, each line, each and every face that I see reminds me of Lucky Star in its live form.  You see, I can invite you to one of the most beautiful places on earth, curate the most wonderful classes with the most talented instructors, order up the best food in the land, give you all the supplies you need, and watch you make the most beautiful art…but in my eyes the real Work of Art is you.  So, if there is nothing else that you take away with you when you leave, know this… YOU… wonderfully real chaser of dreams, sprinkler of stardust… are a Work of Art!

 

What’s in the Name, Lucky Star?

Why did I choose the name “Lucky Star”?  Oh, boy.  There are a few of my friends out there cringing right now upon reading that question. They’re thinking, “pleeeease don’t drag us through the memory of that whole process again!” or “you should have heard the doozies she came up with to get here, thank God she ended up with Lucky Star.”  The truth is, it WAS a gruesome process and there WERE several other names I kicked around before I landed on Lucky Star, and my friends had to hear about ALL of them.  The important thing, though, is that the journey to finding just the right name was exactly what I needed to experience in order to really think through all that I wanted Lucky Star to represent.

I started off by making lists and lists of words that came to mind when I considered what I wanted to name the event.  I really didn’t even know if I wanted to call it a workshop or an event, or stick with retreat or camp.  I just knew how I wanted it to feel, so I went with that.  Here is my first list:

wonder * wonderful * transcendental *  sublime * conjure * wanderlust

deep * serendipitous * ethereal * mystical * blessing * discovery

spellbinding* sprout * chance * divine *  tribe * affinity * kinship

providence * community * roost * bound * nest * balance * local

experience *enchant * intent * destiny * kismet

So, out of all of that, I came up with Kismet Artful Living Retreat.  Turns out, I’m the only person I know who knows what the heck “kismet” means.

kis·met

[kiz-mit, -met, kis-]

noun-  fate; destiny
It never really felt right and I wasn’t excited about it and I kept having to explain what it meant.  Needless to say, that went out the window and I was back to the drawing board.  Then, a friend of mine gave me some good advice.  She really thought I should consider injecting a little “Texas” into the name.   People either love Texas or they hate Texas, but everyone is at least a little intrigued by Texas. Here I was trying to be all zen and ethereal and she really brought it home.  I live on a ranch and cross a river and a creek to get to my house.  I grew up riding horses and showing cattle. I have chicken poop on my front doorstep for Pete’s sake!  I heard her loud and clear.  My brand needed to be a little less “zen” and a lot more “me”.  What people connect to is authenticity and that is what I decided I had to give them.  So I made more lists:
round-up * roost * seed * soul * spark * legacy * heirloom
harvest * harrow * summon * reap * cultivate * homestead * sow
grow * heirloom * tradition * corral
Dang!  I’d gone too far.  I sure didn’t want to go all “hoe-down” and “giddy-up” because that’s not me either!
I couldn’t move forward without a name and it just wasn’t coming to me.  In fact, NOTHING was coming to me until one night, I woke up at around 3 o’clock in the morning with the words “rainbow shooting star” burned into my mind.  Really?  Rainbow Shooting Star???  You should have heard my friends when I mentioned that one.  And to top it all off it came to me in a dream and I hummed Bad Company’s song “Don’t You Know That You Are a Shooting Star?” to them and said, “You know… Shooting Star.”  Finally, my closest childhood friend who is like a sister to me and can talk sense into me like no other said, “What about Lucky Star?”  Bells went off, angels sang on high, pigs flew.  That was it!  And I could feel it in my bones.
Lucky Star had a special meaning to me and especially to my friend who suggested the name.  She grew up on a ranch in the Texas hill country and because our parents are very close friends, we visited them often through the years.  I grew to love it there, mostly because of their love and support, but also because it felt like home away from home to me.
Well, it just so happens that their ranch brand is a shooting star and there is a little old broken down shell of a wooden house that was built long, long ago that still stands on their ranch.  They have left it there for the almost forty years they have owned the property despite the holes in the floor, holes in the roof, and lack of windows and doors.  They call it the Lucky Star and it has stood the test of time.  There is no telling what all it would say if it’s walls could talk.  It has earned it’s existence and has served it’s time in the extreme heat and wildly unpredictable Texas weather.  I would love to know it’s whole story, and I will ask my friends if they know more, but for now let it stand in your mind as a symbol of strength, enduring friendship, shelter from the storm, and as symbol of good luck to those who believe.
 

The Story of Lucky Star Art Camp

I’ve told this story so many times, but it’s been years since I wrote about it for the first time here on this blog.  So, because it feels important to me for people that are new to Lucky Star to know where it came from and why it was started, I decided to share the story again here in a series of “how it all began” posts.  So, here we go…

I come from a long line of “hostess-with-the-mostest” types, so I have always had a heart for gathering people.  What really gets me is that sweet moment when someone realizes they’ve accidentally made a new friend.  I’ve been lucky enough to work as an event planner for myself and others for the last decade and I’m addicted to the thrill of the challenge that each event brings.  But nothing in my previous experience even came close to the feeling I got when I discovered…art camp.  Four years ago, I set out on a big adventure that changed my life forever.  This is my story.

One night when I was up late, children and husband sleeping soundly, I came across a YouTube video.  It was a short and beautiful video with a dreamy song that left me spellbound.  The clip was created to give you a little taste of what this particular art retreat was all about.  I watched it again and again and I was hooked.  I decided then and there that I HAD to go.

Fortunately, I am blessed with a very supportive husband and parents.  They made it possible for me to be away from home for a week, giving me the wings to venture out into new territory. I invited my sister-in-law to join me and we set out to discover something we had no idea even existed:  an art camp for women.  A gathering of women from all over the world who need to create like they need to breathe…amazing teachers to insight and inspire…kindred spirits…rocking chairs by the fireplace…paint-stained hands.  It was transcendental.

In fact, the camp experience made such an impression on me that I became intent on creating a similar event in the small Texas town where I live.  So over the past few years, I have worked hard to bring you Lucky Star Art Camp.  I hope to give you all the “hands in the paint” art workshops you love, along with some classes in things that you might wish you had learned from your mom or grandmother.  It’s never too late to try something new and there is something about old things made new again that stirs your soul.  And because of my love for farm-to-table food, I have included a few classes that are not part of a typical art retreat line-up.  I hope it will be a fun way for everyone to learn how easy it can be to make a difference in how we think about food and where it comes from and help bring awareness to the beauty of each step it takes to get our food from the farm to the plate.

The location for Lucky Star is Hunt, Texas which is known for it’s ancient Sycamore and Cypress trees and it’s clean, clear river that cuts through rugged limestone hills.  It is the heart of of the Texas hill country and home of some of the oldest and finest summer camps in the nation.  The venue, Camp Waldemar, is a real-live Texas girls’ summer camp; one with a history so rich that it gives you goose bumps when you study the black and white photographs of past campers on the walls. It’s the kind of place where you leave your everyday behind and step into the magical realm of anonymity and adventure.

At Lucky Star you have five days to root yourself in this place, deciding each step of the way how much or how little you want to dive in.  There are plenty of organized activities for you to participate in and there is also a lot of space for you to do your own thing.  You can choose to stay alone in your own cabin or you bunk up with total strangers from all over the world who can end up becoming your lifelong friends. I’m talking about doing your thing all day long for five days without having to cook, or clean, or change diapers.  Remember that thing that you love and miss or really wanted to try but never found the time?  The most difficult choice you’ll have to make is deciding which of the amazing classes you want to take.  I’m talking about uninterrupted bliss with a capital B. And it’s all taking place on the North Fork of the Guadalupe River each fall, well after the scorching heat of the Texas summer and just before it’s way too chilly for a dip.  Do I sound excited?  I am.  And you should be, too!  You don’t have to be an artist.  There is something here for everyone.  All you need is an open heart, an open mind, and a desire to connect and create.

I invite you to join me on this adventure.  Set aside some time for yourself for a change and rekindle that spark that lights your soul.  It might seem impossible to get away for that long from your family, from your pets, from your job…but if you do this, they will all thank you for it because you will return home recharged and renewed.

If you are interested, take the time to read about our amazing instructors and their soul-candy classes.  Follow along with us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  You can also sign-up for our newsletter here and find me as @outsidelisa on Instagram.  I hope to meet you some day at camp, so start planning today and start believing the daydream!

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*photos by Shawn Stratmann and Kati Maxwell

Submitted by Lisa H. Field :: Founder & Director of Lucky Star Art Camp

Lucky Star 2015 Tuition Giveaway!

This year’s tuition giveaway is finally here!!!  It’s a bit different this time because this year one LuCKy winner and a friend (that’s two LuCKy people!) will receive free tuition, worth $800.  This will not cover room and board expenses or transportation to and from the event, you will have to pay for that, but it sure will make a dent in the cost.  I hope you take advantage of this opportunity in all of the different ways available to enter multiple times daily. Also…share this opportunity with your friends, because if you win and have a friend who REALLY wants to come, she will get the same deal…FREE TUITION!!!  If you win, but do not have a friend who can come, don’t worry.  You can come solo and we will choose another winner to do the same!

Watch this video to see what you’re getting yourself into! https://vimeo.com/115534904

You can find details including lodging expenses, travel information, and classes available on our website at www.luckystarartcamp.com.  Enter today!

P.S.  If you don’t win, and you really want to come, register soon.  Classes are starting to fill!

TO ENTER:  Find the Rafflecopter widget below.  At the bottom you can choose to sign in using Facebook or Email.  Click on either one of these options to open the many ways you can enter to win. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway